Oxford Comma Dropped: University of Oxford Style guide Says No To Serial Comma

Posted on


It seems like the Oxford comma’s days are numbered. The University of Oxford style guide has decided that as ‘a general rule’ use of the serial comma should be avoided.
Here’s the official entry:

As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write ‘a, b and c’ not ‘a, b, and c’. But when a comma would assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity, it can be used – especially where one of the items in the list is already joined by ‘and’:
The serial comma, comma because of its use by writers and editors based at the University of Oxford, had been waning in popularity. For example, most journalists in Canada and the U.S. who follow the AP or CP stylebooks do not use it.
The Canadian Press Stylebook has this to say: “Put commas between elements of a series but not before the final and, or nor unless that avoids confusion. But seem to be divided, with strong opinions on both sides. All this over a punctuation mark.
The serial comma has had other brushes with fame, of course, even inspiring a song by hipster band Vampire Weekend. No semicolon, em dash or tilde can say that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s